Tag Archives: rajan sodhi

Talking with Guy Kawasaki at SXSW

Sitting in with Guy Kawasaki at SXSW 2009.Guy Kawasaki at SXSW 2009.

Lucky me. I got to sit down with marketing guru and popular author, Guy Kawasaki across from our ServerBeach booth just minutes ago at SXSW. A Tweet up was brought together at the Opera booth with Guy who fielded any questions. He’s really excited about his latest venture, Alltop. He’s launching a MyAlltop this upcoming week. Very cool guy and refreshingly down to earth. I’m a big fan of Guy. My company, PEER 1 is one of the sponsors of JFSA’s Innovators Lunch with Guy as the speaker in Vancouver on April 1st. This by chance meeting was a nice surprise.

Me sitting in with Guy Kawasaki at SXSW.

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My Tour of the Microsoft Campus

The original founders of Microsoft... and a token brown guy.

The original founders of Microsoft... and a token brown guy.

Last week, I had the pleasure of touring the humungus Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. Suren Singh of Microsft gave myself and my colleagues a personal tour of the grounds which is home to over 30,000 employees and spreads across 8 million square feet. I still can’t get my head around it. What struck me most about the impressive grounds is the university campus feel it had that got me feeling nostalgic about my days at UVic. There are plenty of soccer fields outfitted with outdoor artificial turf, immaculate landscaping that retains the pacific northwest feel, and buildings up buildings divided by business concentrations.

The highlight for me was a visit to the Microsoft museum that covered the history of the company from it’s humble start in 1975 up to present day innovations like Surface and Xbox 360. By the way, Surface is VERY cool and ironically (I learned) that it almost never came to fruition. There are endless possibilities for this technology to be used in everyday workplace and home appliances. Below are some photos from the museum, but quite honestly, they don’t do it any justice. Visit it in person if you ever get the chance. Worth the trip out to Redmond. And, thank you Suren for the hospitality!

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Should Companies Embrace Facebook?

bivI was interviewed for a cover article that appeared in this week’s edition of Business In Vancouver. The story reads “Surge in Social Networking Rings Corporate Security Alarms” and talks about the rising use of platforms such as Facebook and the potential negative affects it could have on the workplace. Privacy and security are increasing concerns as more people congregate, share and communicate online. I don’t disagree, particularly when it’s employees of companies disclosing corporate information not intended for the public on a ‘company Facebook page’. This is particularly true with publicly traded companies. The same careful administration bestowed to a company website, should also be taken with a Facebook page or Ning community site or Myspace space.

But this shouldn’t stop your company from embracing these social media tools and platforms, which allow you to reach prospects and customers in a meaningful and massive way like no other. First, you’re reaching them where they go and on their terms. At Facebook, a user will only get updates on your company if they opt-in by becoming a fan. At Twitter, a user will only receive your messages if they become a follower. They also have the power to share it with their friends, fans and followers instantly, giving you some viral love in return.

And second, these tools aren’t trendy, they’re cultural. More and more people find these tools to be just way too simple and powerful to ignore. And the price is right. Our raw and primitive need to communicate and connect will never change. How we do, does and will. And technology leads the way in helping us serve that need cheaper, faster and easier. These tools and platforms are revolutionizing the way we communicate and connect, and businesses may as well learn how to use them to their benefit, and not their detriment. Below is an excerpt from the article:

While a company may not be able to control negative comments that are posted on the Internet, the web’s interactivity allows companies to respond to them. “There’s a whole etiquette to social networking that not everybody gets,” said Rajan Sodhi, vice-president of marketing at PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. (TSX: PIX). One consistent rule is to communicate openly, honestly and often.

Vancouver-based PEER 1 uses a number of social networking tools and has an employee whose sole role is to cultivate the company’s online presence. PEER 1 also monitors the Internet for content that mentions the company. “It can be positive or negative,” said Sodhi. “If it’s something [about PEER 1] they aren’t happy with, we acknowledge them right then and there.” As well as reacting publicly on a blog or network on which a negative comment was posted, PEER 1 will usually follow-up with a phone call.

“We’re a real believer that these social media tools and platforms are here to stay,” said Sodhi, who is the administrator of PEER 1’s Facebook site. “You can be fearful of it and not embrace it, but I think you’re going to lose one of the best tools for communicating and reaching your market.”

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Filed under Business, Communications, Facebook, Internet, marketing, MySpace, Ning, Online marketing tactics, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral

Interview in Ping! Zine Magazine – Blogging for Business

Blogging for Business in 2008I was recently interviewed by Dave Young for an article entitled “Blogging for Business in 2008” that appears in the latest edition of Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine. Below is an excerpt along with a link to the pdf:

I studied their products and services, their corporate websites, but the real studying was done by reading their blog posts. Three of my personal favorite blogs belong to PEER 1, Mailtrust, and MailChimp, names you may already be familiar with if you pay attention to what’s going on in the hosting and software industries.

Okay, so you are probably asking “what’s so great about these companies and their blogs?” I took the time to interview the people behind these successful blogs. The responses I received are quite intriguing. Rajan Sodhi, VP of Marketing and Communications at PEER 1, started “Big Marketing for Small Businesses” and has been posting to his blog (bigmarketing.wordpress.com) since august 2006. Sodhi said, “My blog has been successful in giving me an opportunity to discuss, share and engage with others about my favorite topic – marketing.”

Sodhi enjoys discussing ideas and concepts in marketing on his personal blog. However, blogs are able to do more than just communicate your personal thoughts on whatever interests you the most. For example, Pat Matthews, president of Mailtrust, a Rackspace company, said, “My blog has helped us generate business as well as recruit more effectively.” Matthews has been posting in his “Small Town, Big ideas” blog (patsweblog.com) for over 2.5 years. He believes potential customers and employees like to read about the company they are going to do business with or work for in the future. Matthews added, “My blog has made a big impact on both levels.” Sodhi and Matthews’ blogs are independent of their company’s websites and still help them build business. What happens when you fully integrate your blog within your corporate website?

Download article (pdf): Blogging for Business in 2008

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Filed under Blogging, Branding, Business, Communications, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Web 2.0